Flickr/Sam Anvari

Despite its reputation, Iran's capital city holds secret charms

You could be forgiven for reading the news out of Tehran—protests (and brutal oppression thereof), morality police, first place honors as the smoggiest capital—and crossing it right off your to-visit list. 

But writer Azadeh Moaveni says you'd be making a mistake. Moaveni, who spent her childhood in California, rediscovered her ancestral home as a young journalist in the late 1990s. She has lived in Tehran on and off for six years, eventually writing two books about her time there.

In her own words, Moaveni explains why, in spite of everything, she loves the complicated Iranian capital.

This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.
    Design

    The Granny Flats Are Coming

    A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.

  2. Police cars outside the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City
    Life

    The Great Crime Decline and the Comeback of Cities

    Patrick Sharkey, author of Uneasy Peace, talks to CityLab about how the drop in crime has transformed American cities.

  3. Transportation

    To Measure the 'Uber Effect,' Cities Get Creative

    Ride-hailing companies are cagey on all-important trip data. So researchers are finding clever workarounds.

  4. The White House is seen reflected during a rainy day in Washington, D.C.
    POV

    The City That 'This Town' Forgot

    Washington, D.C., is home to a huge concentration of reporters. Why do they miss the stories happening in their own city?

  5. People walk through a crosswalk.
    Equity

    Great Cities Enable You to Live Longer

    Dense, well-educated, immigrant-friendly cities boost longevity—especially for the low-income.